Making the World
A Good Home for All
Even the Smallest Ripper Moves the Ocean
It Takes Only One to Make the Difference
Sitting back to study my own social networking behavior
from the beginning, and how it has developed. Did I learn anything useful from this experience?
I've been a regular on FaceBook for about four years now. From one friend to many more I revisit
each section of my FaceBook growth:
At the beginning, the idea of online social networking was still very new to me and to most people. I was very Facebook-ignorant. In
those days, I'd never miss seeing anyone's status updates. Also, in those days, I'd react to each of those "in-my-face" status updates as if
it were said directly to me -and, at me. This was the moment of true strength. Some friends were dropped because I felt their choice of
words was unbearable. Some friends got on a "watch" list where their online social behavior was studied and analyzed. We could call my
behavior a sort of FaceBook paranoia. I even felt an itch to return the favors, but I wasn't brave enough to start an online argument. -
I'm glad I didn't. It didn't take long for me to realize that people alter their manners and behavior when they are interacting online. I
came to this realization through studying my own behavior: Look at me, I got paranoid, thinking all my "friends" were out there to get
"me," when all they did was to vent out their frustrations -something that they couldn't -and normally wouldn't- blurt out to strangers
standing in the same line waiting to pay at the grocery store! Things that are not socially acceptable in the reality of a typical day-to-day
and face-to-face are now carried into Internet social activities, where nobody has to "face" anybody and they can be let out in the open
and public cyberspace.
In a way, it's neat to have an outlet to speak out and let ourselves be heard. But, on the other hand, we get carried away and simply say
what we think because we now can. -Now, that's not so cool.
I realized that when I thought my"friends" were directing their snarky remarks at me they were only exercising their rights by letting their
thoughts out in the open. What they didn't know was that they weren't directing their statements only to a single person, but were, in
fact, allowing everyone -ALL whom their privacy set-up permitted- to see their status and comments. There's something sweet and
inviting in a social media such as FaceBook that lures a person into bringing his personal and private situation into public view. -Perhaps
it's the virtual aspect -the fact that one types onto a blank space- that makes a person temporarily forget that one word can bring both
joy and pain to those who see it.
We do not own other people's minds, and therefore we can't just tell them to behave the way we want. But we can make a gradual
change and be a good example by bringing to our online social networks our good, sincere, and polite manners: the courtesy, and
human kindness that we carry in our normal everyday lives -at home and at work, and at all social gatherings. We can stay clear of those
whose online social behavior is not appropriate according to us. Most importantly, we will not let FaceBook and the like get "in-our-faces."
In other words, do not let them have the better of us. Social media are just like other tools we use to enhance our performance and/or
lifestyle. They are only tools. Use them, do not let them use you.
We all should benefit from them. Never forget that there are human beings sitting behind all social network media -laughing and
enjoying their lives, with thanks to all of us for the growth and wealth of their businesses.
We are an American father who has lived many years in Thailand, a Thai mother who has lived many years in the United States,
and four children- the eldest born in America- who spent the first parts of their lives in Thailand and then moved to the USA.
This multiculturalism provides a unique perspective and affords each of us the opportunity to approach things from new directions.
We follow our hearts wherever they take us. We also believe in sharing. If another is enriched then so, too, are we,
for the betterment of one is the betterment of us all. We share our ideas, thoughts, knowledge and opinions with the hope
that others will find value in them, as well as in the hope that they will pay it forward to make the world a continually better place.